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Weekend of Spirit 2019
Keynote Presentation:
"Trees, Roots, and Hidden Connections: Insights from the Natural World"

Presented by Neela de Zoysa and Layli Maparyan 
Drawing from Peter Wohlleben's best selling book The Hidden Life of Trees, Neela de Zoysa and Layli Maparyan will explore more deeply social networking among trees in the forest and why "trees are like a human family" as we thinking about meeting current challenges, such as climate change, social disintegration, and diverse forms of human suffering. Through their deep-rooted connections, how do trees help us find similar connections among ourselves we didn't know we had (or could create), leading us in turn to acknowledge our interdependence, discover inner peace, create world peace, and build a world in which we can all thrive? This session will include a presentation followed by interactive activities and discussion.
Neela de Zoysa
Neela is a botanist and forester. She began her research in tropical rain forests and now teaches at Garden in the Woods ( Native Plant Trust) about New England plants. She is active in promoting open space preservation locally and associated with Sudbury Valley Trustees and Friends of the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge. She has served on the Open Spirit advisory committee since its inception in 2014 and is a member of Open Spirit Multi-Faith Collaborative. She attends the New England Buddhist Vihara in Grafton and Temple Forest Monastery in NH. 
Layli Maparyan
Layli is Executive Director of the Wellesley Centers for Women and Professor and Chair of Africana Studies at Wellesley College. She is the author of three books on womanism and an avid proponent of spiritual activism, including its environmental and ecological dimensions.  She serves as Chairman of the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Framingham and is a member of Open Spirit's Multi-Faith Collaborative.

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